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Princess Anne acts as the King's personal bodyguard during procession: 'The coolest princess'

Princess Anne played a pivotal part in the King's coronation. (Getty Images)
Princess Anne played a pivotal part in the King's coronation. (Getty Images)

Princess Anne proved her importance to the monarchy during her big brother, King Charles III’s, coronation.

The Princess Royal, 72, played a pivotal role in Saturday’s coronation, acting as the Gold-Stick-in-Waiting during the King and Queen’s procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace following the coronation.

In that role, Anne was seen on horseback leading 6,000 members of the Armed Forces from the abbey to the Palace in the largest procession since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation seven decades ago.

Read more: King Charles’s extraordinary story in 76 photos: From little prince to reigning monarch

The position of Gold-Stick-in-Waiting, according to the British Army, rides on the wheels of the Gold State Coach and essentially acts as the monarch’s personal bodyguard.

The position was created during Henry VIII’s reign, as a conspiracy saw the former king supposedly in danger thus a trusted courtier was ordered to always be by the monarch’s side carrying an ebony staff with a gold head.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal rides on horseback behind the gold state coach during the King's coronation. (Getty Images)
Princess Anne, Princess Royal rides on horseback behind the gold state coach during the King's coronation. (Getty Images)

“Princess Anne, Royal Colonel of the Blue and Royals, rides behind the King and Queen (her brother and sister-in-law in the role ‘Gold-Stick-in-Waiting’. It means she is entrusted with the monarch's personal safety,” ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship tweeted.

Anne was also the only royal who appeared on horseback during the King’s coronation.

Read more: King's coronation: Royal fans react as George, Charlotte and Louis steal show

Royal fans on social media were quick to react to Anne’s position. “Princess Anne doing the quickest of quick changes to leap on a horse and ride alongside the carriage as a defender of her brother seems much more heroic than all that other sovereign-ly stuff that just happened, just saying. No cushy carriage for her!” @LiangRhea tweeted.

“Princess Anne is 72 years old and riding a horse in full uniform, with a sword. She is absolutely amazing!” @DaisyDuck2109 added.

“Princess Anne riding on a horse with the other Colonels is my hero out of all this absurdity,” @mlarsonrichard said.

Other users called her the “coolest Princess” and the best “role model for Princess Charlotte”.

Read more: Why Princess Anne is a powerhouse – from her signature style to foiling her own kidnap

Anne later appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside the King and Queen, and other senior members of the Royal Family like the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Prince and Princess of Wales. Prince Harry was notably absent from the balcony.

King Charles and Princess Anne (centre) stand between their parents on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. (Getty Images)
King Charles and Princess Anne (centre) stand between their parents on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. (Getty Images)

It marked the second time Anne had made a balcony appearance during a monarch’s coronation, as she appeared on the balcony when she was two years old during her mother’s Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.

Watch: Royals greet crowds from Buckingham Palace balcony